Partial Dentures for Front Teeth Treatment Options
Partial dentures are removable dental appliances used to restore your jaw’s function and form and aesthetics by replacing one or several missing teeth. They look natural and are strong enough to handle speaking and chewing. To remain in place, partial dentures have clasps on the back teeth. Occasionally, when patients have no back teeth, these clips may be eliminated or else placed on teeth such as canines but these might show when you smile.
Difference between plastic and metallic partial dentures
Partial dentures are less expensive than metal framework ones. However, their design should be done carefully lest they damage the teeth they are clasped against. Also, plastic dentures tend to be bulkier as they need to be thick and robust enough to support chewing.
On the other hand, metallic partial dentures are made of a chromium and cobalt alloy. They are strong and far less bulky. They are light and have superior support. Pink acrylic (a gum-coloured plastic material) is built on this metal framework to give a natural look. However, they are more expensive in comparison to plastic pieces.
Dentures with a metal framework can also be made of titanium rather than cobalt chromium alloys. These are even lighter, and therefore more comfortable. However, they are more expensive than their counterparts.
Why do you need dentures?
There are a couple of reasons why you’d need to get dentures. Below are some of them;
- Losing natural teeth through injury, gum disease or tooth decay
- To restore your smile and appearance
- To fill the space left and to prevent your facial muscles from sagging with time
- To speak and eat better than you would without teeth
- To solve digestive problems, such as acid reflux, that can be the result of improper/ineffective chewing due to several missing teeth
How do I choose the best type for me?
This choice is best made under the guidance of your dentist. This is because there are several factors to consider, including the dental structure and the condition of the remaining teeth. But in many cases, dentists often recommend partial metal dentures as they yield the best results.
Pros and Cons of Partial Dentures
- Rarely require any modification of your remaining teeth
- Restore biting and chewing ability
- Better speech and pronunciation compared to having no teeth
- Restore physical changes in your face, mouth, and lips that weren’t present without teeth
- Bring back an attractive appearance when smiling
- Bulky and may be uncomfortable
- Bone resorption (degeneration) (1)
- Patients with a hypersensitive gag reflex may find it difficult to get used to wearing a denture
How to look after your partial dentures
With partial dentures, you need to be on your toes with your oral health. Good oral health and denture care will help to protect your remaining teeth from infections and damage. Also, it will help improve the longevity of your dentures.
When you don’t clean your partial dentures, a lot of problems could occur, including;
- Loss of remaining teeth
- Sore spots and discomfort in the mouth
- Plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease
- Fungal infections such as Candida albicans (thrush) on the gums, palate and tongue
As such, when visiting your dentist, it’s important that you take some time to discuss with them some of the ways you can keep the denture clean and your oral health in top-notch condition.
Cleaning your dentures
You should clean the dentures daily to prevent the build-up of stains, tartar, and food. These caus bad breath, ugly appearance, infections, tooth decay and gum irritations.
You should use a soft toothbrush or a recommended denture brush to clean the partial dentures. You should also use warm running water and soap. Don’t use toothpaste as this will scratch your denture and make it more susceptible to collecting stains and debris.
When cleaning your dentures in your sink, remember they are fragile. Therefore, you need to fill the sink with some water for protection just in case they slip out of your hands.
Rinse or brush the denture after every meal to prevent debris build-up.
You can use the denture tablets for soaking to help in loosening the deposits or stains and for disinfection. If you have metallic dentures, be careful as some tablets may damage the alloy. Use warm soapy water and a soft brush instead.
Alternative Treatments to Partial Dentures for Front Teeth
Partial dentures are not the only method of replacing missing teeth. Below are other alternatives that you can consider:
Dental implant treatment consists of a metal screw or post that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum. Once an implant is in position, it allows a dentist to mount a replacement tooth. Dental implants fuse to the bone and provide strong support to an artificial tooth.
Any denture or bridge that is mounted on a dental implant will not slip or shift in the mouth. This comes in handy when speaking or eating. The secure fit helps them feel more natural.
For people who aren’t comfortable in dentures and bridges, or these options are not possible, a dental implant is a great alternative.
The beauty of having a dental implant is that no other tooth needs to be prepped for the installation.
To have a dental implant you need enough bone to provide support and healthy gums. Other factors such as oral hygiene, smoking and medical conditions may also impair your ability to have implants.
This type of bridge is attached to retainers on both ends of the space in the jaw. It has a single path of insertion and a rigid connector on the ends, which connect the artificial tooth to the abutment teeth.
Since the abutments are connected rigidly to the artificial teeth, preparation is necessary. During preparation, the dentist ensures that the two are parallel.
Related reading: Dental Bridges Vs Implants Treatment In Malta
This is a prosthetic type of tooth that is held in place with a metal wing which protrudes from the sides. It is fixed to the back of adjacent supporting tooth using an adhesive. The bridge can be made from porcelain or zirconia.
These bridges are suitable for front tooth replacement because the force here isn’t enough to break the adhesive used. Patients with a strong bite, tooth wear or tooth grinding habits, however, are not normally good candidates for such bridges.
Losing your front teeth doesn’t mean your smile is ruined. It is only a minor setback that you can recover from.
The solutions we’ve mentioned above are all options to consider, depending on budget, comfort and oral conditions.
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